4th November – Bee-eater by the sea(burn)‏

Posted: November 6, 2012 in Bird Watching, Birding, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching
Tags: , ,

A juvenile Bee-eater had been found during the week at Seaburn, County Durham just north of Sunderland. Then, on Saturday evening a probable Lesser Kestrel was allegedly seen in the area,so,we decided to go to the north-east!We met at Steve B’s house (sorry Bob) and all three of us set of on a freezing,cold morning at 6-30am with myself at the helm. Quite a bit of fog around the York area, then as we got onto the really nice A19 the day became rather nice and sunny.We reached the Marsden area,an area we just recently dipped the PG Tips and had a walk around the sea cliffs the area were the Kestrel had been last seen, only a few observers were present, so,when the news that the Bee-eater was showing the place almost emptied.There was also a lot of speculation as to the Lesser Kestrel’s viability? Well, we met that rough lot from York at the Bee-eater who told us that it was showing well and would sit on the tree in front of us in “a few minutes”. After 20 minutes we only had two fly pasts!

We spread out and eventually the bird settled down and gave great views sat on aerials,in trees and telephone wires.No news of the Kestrel, but a Yellow Browed Warbler in Whitburn had us heading in the wrong direction,but chance to pay homage to Trow Quarry (of unseen Eastern Crowned Warbler) fame,still hurts that one! No sign of a Yellow Browed Warbler,but, chance to seek out a quiet corner,okay Bob!! We went through Sunderland and enjoyed great views of “The Stadium of Light”, a very impressive building. The Little Bunting at Houghton-le-Spring had been re-found but again as we reached the area the mist had descended and we didn’t even attempt to find it. Last call was the site of the last Bee-eater breeding area at Bishop Middleham, because on one of the pools a Long Tailed Duck was reported on Saturday. The mist was down again, but, it did clear and we managed to check out a couple of the pools without any success, lots of Snipe, Gadwall and a huge herd of Reindeer kept us entertained until we headed for home at 2-30pm, reaching Rochdale by 5:00pm. It was the first Bee-eater I had seen for 10 years in this country and was well worth the effort, but, we all wished the Lesser Kestrel had been there!

Dave O.


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